10 romantic things to do in Lancashire this Valentine's Day
This Valentine's Day take a break from the supermarket roses and make a grand Lancastrian romantic gesture.
WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre
Embrace the wild outdoors and spend a relaxing Valentine's Day with the love of your life at WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre. Marketing manager Amy Claridge believes nature is romantic. 'From fabulous flamingos, cheeky otters and wonderful white storks, plus a nature reserve teeming with wildlife, it is a great place to be this Valentine's Day,' she said. 'February is a good time to visit as the wildlife starts to prepare for the breeding season. For example, watch the flamboyance of flamingos as they perform amazing 'head flagging' routines to attract a mate.'
Forest of Bowland
If you're a couple who loves a spectacular vista, the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is beyond romantic. Get lost in the beautiful and unspoiled countryside and enjoy the tranquil surroundings this stunning area has to offer. Sandra Silk, the Forest of Bowland AONB Project Officer says it's the perfect place to celebrate Valentine's Day with your loved one. 'It is such a great place for walking. From easy riverside rambles to strenuous fell top hiking, with picturesque villages and heritage to explore - and a lack of mobile signal in quite a few places!'
Carnforth Railway Station
Visit the setting of the 1945 David Lean film and take the time to recreate the famous kiss under the clock at this historical location set in the beautiful town of Carnforth. Take your place in the Refreshment Room and enjoy the surroundings with a romantic tea. Carnforth Station and Visitor centre open: 10am - 4pm. Refreshment Room open: 9am - 4pm. Call 01524 735165 or visit www.carnforthstation.co.uk
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The Taj Mahal is widely considered one of the most beautiful buildings ever created, a colossal tomb which is an enduring monument to love. But Lancashire has its own temple to love - the 150 foot tall Ashton Memorial in Lancaster's Williamson Park. It was commissioned by local MP and businessman James Williamson as a tribute to his second wife, Jessie, but by the time it was completed he'd tied the knot for a fourth time. What the new Mrs Williamson thought of such a grand gesture is not known but it remains one of the most lovely buildings in the county with amazing far-reaching views. It's perfect for romantic walks and picnics - and it hosts weddings.
The beach is an ideal place for a romantic date. Even in the winter, it can offer special quality time while walking hand in hand with the love of your life along the wide golden sands. So, this Valentine's leave the chaos behind and head to Southport. It offers the country's second longest pier and picturesque coastal views combined with peace and tranquillity so you can soak up the panoramic view and admire the beauty of the coast... when you are not staring lovingly into each other's eyes, of course.
Blackpool Tower Ballroom
Apart from playing host to Strictly Come Dancing, Blackpool Tower Ballroom has been attracting fans since 1894. By far one of the most romantic venues in the UK, it is perhaps the place to be this Valentine's Day. To mark the special occasion in style, the Ballroom will be hosting a fabulous afternoon tea complete with a selection of sandwiches, scones and speciality cakes. Plus, it is offering a great opportunity for guests to send in messages and song requests performed by a very talented organist as you hold each other tight and glide across the hallowed dance floor.
East Lancashire Railway
Train travel is steaming back into its romantic past this Valentine's Day on the East Lancashire Railway. Step on board and enjoy the Pullman style carriages and be transported back in time to an age where to dine by train was beyond luxurious. It is the perfect excuse to dress up for the occasion and enjoy a first-class service at its best. While being treated to a range of delicious options from a silver service four-course gastronomic delight to a quintessentially British afternoon tea, you will also be spoilt by scenic Lancastrian landscapes like no other.
High on a hill in the heart of Lancashire, this spectacular Grade I listed building offers an enchanting and unique destination for making memories. Shakespeare knew a thing or two about romance - and he may well have picked up some tips from his time living here. As he wrote in A Midsummer Night's Dream: 'Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged cupid painted blind.' So, why not make a day out of it and visit the delightful tearoom or enjoy a spot of lunch after exploring the tower's delights.
Ribble Valley is Lancashire's capital of love and romance is everywhere. There's no end of beautiful country walks to explore, innovative shopping experiences to treat your loved one with a special gift and plenty of places to feast on local delights. If you're thinking of popping the question this year, take advantage of all the special spots and people who understand and accommodate romance in the area as there are plenty of iconic places to 'pop the question' in the stunning countryside.
For romantics who love nature, the Lune Valley is always a great place to visit. Bordering both the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Yorkshire Dales, this stunning area of Lancashire boasts both mesmerising countryside and gastronomic gems that can be appreciated by all. Discover an incredible Lancashire landscape on foot or by bike that inspired many to create their finest masterpieces, including famed poet Thomas Gray's view on Crook O'Lune to artist JMW Turner who painted this landscape.